Marketing And Social Media

    April 9, 2008

The U.S. lags in emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Russia in taking up activities including blogging, social networking and video sharing, according to research from media communications agency Universal McCann.

The agency said that China had passed the U.S. in the number of people starting their own blogs, with 43 million compared to 26.4 million in the U.S. Online social network membership in countries including Brazil, Russia, Taiwan and Mexico is growing at 70 percent annually, compared with less than 49 percent in the U.S.

"We tend to think of ourselves (in the US) as leaders, but we’re just catching up with the rest of the world," said Graeme Hutton, senior vice president at Universal McCann. "The markets that are leading don’t have the same panoply of media, so they leapfrog ahead."

In the U.S., the fastest growing user-generated content categories since the beginning of 2008 were watching online video, downloading podcasts, and subscribing to an RSS feed.

Hutton said that other new media like social networks were not a great medium for traditional ads. Currently, he said, " it’s really about promotions, sponsorships, and bringing in different forms of participation rather than trying to do classic advertising."

Even if user-generated content is not a main marketing strategy, its popularity will keep marketers interested.